A few days ago, I heard from Cat Bordhi, the legendary teacher, designer, author, mentor, traveler, and spirit. A sunbeam into my in box, just like that. She was sending along a pattern that she thought our readers might enjoy, a free pattern.
I burst into tears. Not a typical response to a pattern, even to one as inventive as this one.
A few weeks ago, she shared with the world the news that she is dying. Her candor about this stunned her legion of admirers and friends.
Yesterday, she sent me her thoughts for us all:
I have been ever so fortunate that the fates tossed me into the knitting pool. I began crocheting and knitting at about age 8 on a camping trip and my hands never stopped fiddling with string after that, whether it be for jump ropes, or for ropes for tying up neighborhood kids after capturing them in street games, or for making little blankets. While the other kids were off rampaging about with my creations, I created—this probably saved me a lot of skinned knees.
Then as I grew older my creations became more sophisticated, until after many many years it evolved into me being a knit designer, of all things. This suited me wonderfully since I like to invent things and not be told what to do. I’d been teaching elementary and middle school for ten years by the time that happened, so I had lots of tricks up my sleeve for a diverse range of learners, and my students often tell me that they can feel the teacher in me, a good one who feeds them material in a way that makes sense to them. This means everything to me—to be a teacher who makes sense. In fact, at lunch today with my grandson Charlie who is struggling with remote schooling right now, we went around the table to offer suggestions and I found myself suggesting he email his teacher to ask for help, because nothing pleases a teacher more than actually being able to help. This is true and I hope that if you are reading this and have a kid nearby struggling with on-line school, encourage them to ask for help!
As for the pattern …
The Rio Calina Cowl is not any ordinary cowl. It’s such a Cat Bordhi pattern. She writes: “This cowl is a satisfying travel companion, because you make it up as you go along, allowing a spontaneous river of cables.”
You’ll find the pattern here.
One of Cat’s favorite nonprofits is the San Juan Island Family Resource Center, if you’d like to make a donation in honor of Cat.
Her deep love of nature led me to find the greenest yarn possible to make my Rio Calina Cowl.
I’ll be thinking about her with a full heart, as these cables twist and turn.